Frederick Runner of the Month: Michelle Mitchell (January 2016)

This month we showcase  a very special runner from our Frederick community. She has taken on running in a variety of distances from 5Ks to 50miles. When she is not taking on a new challenge she's actively involved in the community and great running partner to many. We present to you Michelle Mitchell as your January Runner of the Month!

When did you start running and what triggered you to start?

I started running when I was 41. Someone asked if I wanted to run the Market Street mile and off I go.  I found it very peaceful and exhilarating at the same time.  I ran (and still do) many times by myself. Many decisions are made while running.

During your first year of running, how many miles did you cover?

It's hard to say how many miles where covered my 1st year. Back in 1998, the Steeplechasers only did 5k,10k and 2-5 milers. Oh there was 1 1/2 marathon run out of Ft. Detrick which I did either 98 or '99.

What truly motivates you to stay active?

My health; mentally and physically are what motivate me to keep running. There is such a freedom I feel when I run!  I was in a coma in 1988 for 5 days and am lucky to be alive let alone be able to even walk so.....

What have you learned about yourself since you started running? 

I am much stronger person both physically and mentally. Running has helped me overcome some obstacles.

If someone is intimidated by running the ultra distance, what would be your best advice?

I had never run a trail until March 2014. I ran/walked with Susan Errickson up at Gambrill. She told me to just take my time. Some advice: take your time and reconnect with Mother Nature. Nothing is more beautiful. 

What do you love and/ or hate about JFK race specifically?

I can't think of anything I hated about THE JFK50. What I loved was the route and the support for 50 miles that everyone had!  Probably one of the best organized races I've ever run

So besides spending a lot of time running, what else do you enjoy doing?

Besides running, I enjoy reading, my dogs, children and very I'm involved in The Lion's Club.

What’s on the agenda for 2016?

My agenda for 2016 is not as busy as 2015 running schedule was. I did fall several times and hurt my left tendon on my foot.  Hopefully several 50ks, a couple of marathons, 1/2 marathons, we'll see...

One last fun question: After a race or long training run what is your food?

My favorite food after a long run is a 5 Guys cheeseburger. I find I really need the protein.